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Author Topic: Djoran - Bronze Age Epic  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« on: September 25, 2004, 08:12:30 AM »
Here are the main bits for this world, the conception. I am going to be using the worksheet for this setting, so the next post (Worksheet) will be constantly updated. Feel free to comment and run discussion after it.  All the salient points will be incorporated to the worksheet.

This is an early Bronze Age Society. It is in what The People will call the Cradle of Civilization some day. Right now, it is the only place were civilized people exist.

The world has two power levels for "power": The small and personal OR the Huge and Epic.  Magic and Clerical powers are all intertwined.

We have new Gods that the people are coming to grips with.

The Focus is upon your community (tribe/ town/ city) rather than individual glory.  This new thing called society is the main thrust of all endevors. It seperates you from the lesser, animalistic peoples.  

The buildings are BIG and Stone.

Every culture group, figure around four, has its own dieties and cosmic truths. These do not match.  The world is the way you believe it is. Diety's powers wane out of their cultural area.  Those with strong spiritual connection to their culture can carry their rules with them.  

Analog: Early Old Testemant time period.
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"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
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Offline MoonHunter

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Djoran
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2004, 08:13:40 AM »
MoonHunter's Worksheet  V2.2

7Cs: Consistancy, Connection, Chrome, Cycle, Conflict, Control, Continuity

(XX) Conception
(__) Bits
(__) Sift and sort
(__) Top down process (__)(__)(__)
(__) Bottom up           (__)(__)(__)
(__) Polish

Listings

Themes and Images:
See previous post

Worlds Specs:
Earthlike. Alt-Earth
 
Terrain:
Each of these cities (and sets of cities) are in a rich river valley or basin. The mountains around these waterways are not that large, in comparison to other regions of the world. They are large enough to stop all but the most dedicated and skilled people.

At this point in history, there has been no over farming, so the soil is quite productive. What makes these cities so successful is their use of irrigation and large scale water works.  

The areas between these rivers valleys or basins is grassy plains with the occasional rocky out cropping.  

Flora/Fauna:
North African flora and fauna. Lions, Bears, and a huge variety of deer.  Occasionally you will get an odd animal, but these are the basics.  They will be dying off soon enough due to over hunting.

In addition to these, there should be some monsters spawned by Demons.


Resources:
The hills/ mountains around the waterways are a source of tin and copper, as well as gold and silver. They are also good sources of stone.  

The renewable sources are yet to be over exploited, so there will be wood enough for everyone.

Races and Peoples:
Humans. Period.
Each cultural group has its own "ethnicity". You can tell who is from where by a glance in most cases.

See Paranormals for Demons
Cultural Overview:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)


Calendar/Standards:
The Calander is a new concept that the city folk have just invented.  it allows them to know exactly when to plant, when to expect floods, and when to have religious ceremonies.  This gives them a significant advanages over any of the other semi-sedentary peoples in the world at this time.


Institutions-Major:
Organized Religion
Organized Armies
Kingships

Laws and Morals:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Family:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Social classes:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Political Power:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Economics:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)


Religion:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)


Technology and Common Power:
Early Bronze Age technology is the key.

Military Weapons and Tactics
.Spears with bronze tips is the common weapon
.Elites use bronze swords.
.Mini-shields are the only protection
.Chariots are the uberweapon of the day.
Industrial/ Production

Medical

Agricultural
.Irrigation. Mass irrigation projects allow for the massive city populations.

Communication

Math and Science:

Construction

Information:
Other Knowledge

Holidays:

Transportation:
Oxen pull carts
Horses pull Chariots
Horses are occasionally ridden, but there are no stirrups, so riding is much more difficult.


Arts/ Literature:
1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Shadow:
Organized crime or any true organization is not yet present here.  Secret Sects and societies are an option among the Elites.  

Power:
See base notes: But...

Paranormal:
Demons, Demons everywhere.  Demons are here to trick, punish, and manipulate humankind.

History Brief:

Rules:
MoonHunter
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"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
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Offline MoonHunter

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2004, 08:50:24 AM »
I am thinking there will be four cultures that bind this area.  These cultures will be in conflict with each other. It will not be active war, but occasional conflicts.

I think they will be centered around a large inland sea. The outer boundries of the map will be mountainous, but unexplored.  These people do not know what is beyond their little world in any detail.  All they know is that they are the only civilized peoples.

1) Asept: Egyptian Analog: These are our seriously civilized people. Their entire lives are built around their eventual deaths and moving on to the spirit realm.  Single broad river. (Aviontix?)

2) Egarad: This set of city states is a kingdom of kings. Each of the seven or so cities has its own King.  They are linked through common langauge and a priesthood.  Their Pantheon of a dozen or so gods are the common thread. Each God has its own job, so each "caste" has its own diety.  Afterlife just happens, so live for the world.

3) Shovan: These city states are run by Priest Kings who have great mystic powers.  Each city has its own patron diety, but every other city's diety is mentioned.  The afterlife is when one becomes one with their god, joining them in a paradise. Those that do not are cast to the demons.


4) Hmmmm.. What to do here?
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"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2004, 01:44:54 PM »
On Asept-
Egyptian culture was based around Ma'at, the concept that the world runs by a celestial order. The reason for this assertion was that the Nile was basically always flooding at the same time. The Egyptians regarded themselves as the blessed children of the gods.

About the fourth culture, or one of the others- I suggest a Mesopotamian-style culture, though that is similar to Egarad.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2004, 03:14:27 PM »
For your forth power how about a semi-nomadic herding people like the Hittites or the scythians. Someone to keep the othe three on their toes by making inroads into their safe domestic lives with raiding. The people would maintain a strong tribal organization, and believe that the trappings of civilization are unnatural. Their shamans would support this theory.

There would be racial bleeding on the borders, with some intermarrying between some local noble, and the chiefs daughter sort of thing since we are dealing with generalizations at this point.


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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2004, 05:26:50 PM »
May I just say, I love this idea.
I've always wanted to run a bronze age campaign. I love that period of history, and I wish there was more I could learn about it.
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Offline esaquam

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Bronze Age writing/literacy
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2004, 07:17:30 PM »
What will you do, if anything, about writing and literacy?

Early Mediterranean written communication, very early bronze age give or take, was common across multiple languages.  That is, people who could not speak to each other could write to each other, each using their own language to read the same "text": pre-alphabetic Greek, Phoenician and Egyptian merchants recorded trades in the same early ideograms (the Etruscans remain a mystery).  (Similar phenomenon can be found across China and some neighboring regions today.)  From what we know, the ancient discourse may have been limited to trade and similar concrete issues, and trans-lingual readability declined as ideographs became specialized in some areas and were replaced by alphabets in others.

So, what might that mean for a game world?
  • Could be that a much smaller than typical percentage of the population are literate, and those are more likely to be travelling merchants than to be kings or priests who could rely entirely on an oral tradition.
  • Written artifacts (clay tablets and some stone or wood carving) were few and far between, and almost inherently mystical.  Books do not exist at all, nor does paper; bark and leaves might provide some really temporary writing surfaces.
  • Engraving or inscripting weapons would be difficult and very rare.
  • But all such items would be universally readable - by those few who could read.


A minor consideration to help differentiate this from later ages.
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Offline esaquam

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2004, 08:10:51 PM »
I agree with the idea that at least one of the cultures should be either herders or hunter-gatherers.  Whether nomadic or not may depend on climate and abundance of food throughout the yearly cycle as much as anything.

In near-tropical, non-seasonal and extremely fertile areas, hunter-gatherer societies can be settled on quite small ranges.  Nomadic cultures provide a easy hook to use for Conflict, but the conflict could also arise over trade-routes crossing "wild" areas, or pastoralist expansion into same.  The Yanomamo of the Amazon basin were well-fed, relatively settled, and incredibly violent.  Add other touches, like head-hunting/shrinking, poison arrows, etc.  Any of the choices of hunter-gatherer or pastoralists, semi-settled or nomadic, will provide similar possible competition.

Hunter-gatherers would also likely view early domesticated livestock as a whole lot easier than wild prey: Oh look, 20 fat aurochs trained not to run away!  So, if one or more of your other three cultures are pastoralists, then you have another point of contention.

You could also introduce some geo-political balance by having the fourth culture partially or completely surrounding the other three cultures, maybe even buffering them from each other, and having enough cooperative behavior that picking on one small tribal group risks autonomous attacks from all directions.  Then again, directly neighboring HG tribes might be willing to make deals with other cultures to get rid of each other for the promise of shared spoils and fancy new weapons.  And, of course, each "civilized" culture would try to enlist the HG's as allies against the other two civilized cultures.

There, that gives you many options for plenty of baseline conflict for a start - just what the doctor ordered!  :D
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Offline Scrasamax

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2004, 07:14:53 AM »
Just shooting from the hip here. I can see the four distinct cultures from a historical stand point.

There is of course Aegypt, the old empire concerned with the realm of life and death and the cyclical nature of creation.

Then we have the Persians, who ride a roller coaster, constantly showing massive swings in power, rising to all but conquer Egypt, and then fall apart into balkanized squabbling petty states.

The proto-Hellenic culture has risen on the peninsula and occupied the islands of the temperate inner sea, and with said insulation from her two neighbors has made some real progress.

To the north of the Hellenics, and the Persians ride the hoards of the Scythians, at times peaceful neighbors and at other times, unstoppable foes who pillage and burn.

Just my two cents.


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Offline MoonHunter

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2004, 10:47:39 AM »
Scrasamax, this would be an earlier period... pre-persia and hellenics.  We are talking Tigris and Euphrates First States. Babylon, Sumaria, Canninites, etc.  

I was planning on some of the nomadic peoples outside "civilization" to be somewhat organized. However, we should have another "civilized" people. Perhaps a semi-nomadic peoples, who are stationary for time then move on... or some of their peoples stay in a place all year long, with others moving about between permanent encampments.  These people would be "behind" the curve of the other "civilized people.  They have completely given up nomadic existance.

Four is just a good number, we could have three, four, or five culture groups that have borders near each other.  That way their can send their charioteers and spearmen against each other.
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Offline MoonHunter

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The Djora and metaphysical history
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2004, 11:27:09 AM »
A thumbnail of GrandScale History

The Djora are powerful cosmic spirits. They created the world (and the universe that contains it). Each had its own interests. After they created and populated the world, their interest in the world waned.

The Demons were tools of the Djora. They did the actual work for the Djora, creating and moving energies to make it all.  They lived, played, and ruled the world they created for the Djora. Thus it was for quite a long time.

Then the Djora created people. It was one of their last acts before basically ignoring the world. The People has spirits which were sources of great power (once properly focused).  They were given the reigns of the world. The Demons were angered. They hated the People for replacing them as rulers of the world. While their hands were tied by the law/words of the Djora, they could still "express their displeasure" by making the People's lives less pleasant.  Thus the demons do what they can do bring down the cities without taking direct action.

People had spirits. Those spirits contained all the knowledge in the universe. Those spirits whispered to their minds, that they needed the Djora. It is hard to say if the Djora made them or the belief of people made The Gods.  

These Gods become the focus of their peoples. They are the focus of powers to alter reality (i.e. magic and natural change), as well as protection from Demons.  Gods also serve as a rallying point for groups of people.  Their belief empowers their dieties, the dieties empower their people.
MoonHunter
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Djoran - Bronze Age Epic
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2004, 05:26:05 PM »
I'm getting a very Conan vibe here...
If it stays on this path, it'll be a lot more Conanesque than AK.
Thas' cool. I'm a big fan of this.
So keep it up!
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Offline oakleafbard

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Djoran Bronze age epic
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2005, 11:39:45 PM »
Bronze age always makes me think about chariots. Chariots make me think about celts. They would be a great culture to add to this . Semi nomadic ( always harrassing Rome and Greece, conquering them then leaving), Just on the line between hunter gatherers and farmers around
Fourth and fifth centuries B.C. if I remember my history correctly. The druids give a great Priest/ shaman/ wizard class and the Fianna of Ireland offer a great noble warrior caste.
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